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Revamp Nyack Elem. Schools? Meeting Tonight

Parents, teachers to discuss moving to the Princeton method.

A major change may be on the horizon for Nyack's elementary schools.

The Nyack Board of Education is contemplating a shift to the Princeton Plan, which would divide the current K-through-fifth-grade experience into smaller segments.

Under the Princeton Plan, grades would be assigned to specific schools. Instead of the three schools—Valley Cottage Elementary, Liberty Elementary and Upper Nyack Elementary—housing children from all grades, they would house children from just two grades.

For example, Kindergartners and first graders would attend Valley Cottage, second graders and third graders would attend Liberty, and so on.

A committee of parents and staff have been studying the idea since 2010, according to superintendent James Montesano.

"The committee conducted research based on enrollment projections, building utilization, educational advantages and disadvantages, cost efficiencies and pertinent miscellaneous other concerns," he said. "Its report was given at a public Board meeting in June."

Montesano said the committee will also share finding with parents over the course of four public meetings throughout the month of October.

"Recognizing this is a sensitive issue, I assure you that no decision has been made about it by me nor the Board of Education," Montesano added. "We are now beginning a process of providing information and gathering feedback on the concept so the best possible decision can be made."

This year also marks the first the Nyack High School implements block scheduling.

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Meeting dates

  • Upper Nyack School Monday, October 1 7:30 PM
  • Liberty School Wednesday, October 3 7:30 PM
  • Valley Cottage School Tuesday, October 9 7:30 PM
  • Nyack Center Tuesday, October 30 7:30 PM
Laura Appelbaum October 02, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Randy and Elizabeth, You want to have quality schools in your neighborhood, whether or not you have kids. This reorganization plan will bring down the quality of Nyack schools, losing the neighborhood character that many people move here for, among MANY other things. That will result in a decline in your property values. Any way you look at it, the Princeton Plan model is a bad idea.
elizabeth October 03, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Maybe this program is not a good one, but please don't shoot down the goal of saving money, and abiding by the 2% tax cap. For all I know, the superintendent may be using this program as a diversion to the real wastefulness in the schools; such as administrative salaries, benefits, and enourmous pool of staff! Somebody mentioned unecessary paving of roads; well take a look at the paving job that was just done on the BOCES parking lot! It must have cost a fortune! Guess who paid for that - the Nyack School District, their landlord! The lot could just as well have been repaired, for considerably less money!
Brian Boggan October 03, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Elizabeth If you think this plan is going to work and save a million you are wrong. You and your neighbors will lose more than a million in your homes value overnight because no families will move to nyack under this princeton plan.
Randy October 03, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Everytime school, town, village and county taxes go up all homeowners lose value in their homes. When buyers have to consider paying $1000 to $1500 a month for property taxes they will pay less for the house. The banks will take this increased real estate tax into account when they qualify the buyers for a mortgage and reduce the maximum amount they will be qualified to borrow. Anyone planning to sell their house, like a retiree, will lose value each year that they wait when taxes go up. It is time to cut costs. The Princeton Plan seems to have worked in more than a dozen nearby districts. There will be need for other ways to reduce expenses. The state could help by requiring all government employees who will benefit from the generous state pension system to contribute to it for their entire career not just the first ten years. The current system truly provides a free ride after ten years and today's taxpayers can no longer afford such generosity.
John Gromada October 03, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Yeah look at South Orangetown- no one wants to live there because of the Princeton Plan.

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